Marriage Amendment Debate, Oct. 30

William Mitchell to host ‘Marriage Amendment Debate 2012’ Tuesday, Oct. 30

William Mitchell College of Law, its Student Bar Association, and Leonard, Street and Deinard will present “Marriage Amendment Debate 2012” from 7 to 8:30 pm Tuesday, Oct. 30 in the law school’s Auditorium.

Marriage Amendment Debate, Oct. 30

The free, public event will feature amendment supporters and opponents debating its legal merits. Mitchell President and Dean Eric Janus will moderate, and audience members will have opportunities to ask questions.

Application has been made for CLE credit.

Register for this event


7 pm Opening Remarks by panel moderator Dean Eric S. Janus

7:05 pm Debate begins

8:25 pm Closing Remarks by  Dean Janus

8:30 pm Conclusion of debate

Speaker Biographies


Lowell Stortz is president of Leonard, Street and Deinard. He practices in the firm’s Estate Planning and Charitable Gift Planning practice groups, advising individuals and businesses in the areas of tax, business and estate planning, and trust and estate administration. He also advises nonprofit organizations on donor gift programs and nonprofit corporate issues. Stortz has been active in providing legal advice and business counsel to many charities serving those in need in the Twin Cities community. In addition, he has served as an adjunct professor at several law schools and has been named among The Best Lawyers in America in the area of trusts and estates litigation.

President and Dean Eric S. Janus has been at William Mitchell College of Law in various teaching positions since 1984, and president and dean since 2007. His scholarly focus has been on the interaction of law with psychiatry and other health sciences. Building on his experience as court-appointed counsel in extended constitutional litigation challenging Minnesota’s Sexually Dangerous Person Law, he has focused on the boundaries of the state’s ability to use civil commitment to protect public safety. He is interested in the effectiveness of risk assessment, the place of danger assessment in society, and the public policy implications of the current approach to dealing with sexual violence. He has examined other coercive interventions for the protection of society such as quarantine and terrorism-related preventive confinement. He has studied the impact on prevention of international human rights law. His latest book is Failure to Protect: America’s Sexual Predator Laws and the Rise of the Preventive State. He is frequently sought out by the media for his expertise and was recently named to the State of Minnesota, Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force. Dean Janus graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College and received his Juris Doctorate cum laude in 1973 from Harvard Law School.

Amendment Supporters

Teresa Collett is a professor of law at St. Thomas University School of Law, where she is a passionate advocate for the protection of human life and the family. She is a nationally sought-after scholar and speaker on the topics of marriage, religion and bioethics. She has published numerous legal articles and is the co-author of a law casebook on professional responsibility and co-editor of a collection of essays exploring “catholic” and “Catholic” perspectives on American Law. Professor Collett is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as before legislative committees in several states. In 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed her to a five year term on the Pontifical Council for the Family. Professor Collett is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Evan Wilson is in-house counsel for a government entity in Minnesota, where he provides advice and representation in the areas of public policy, legislation, governance, constitutional law, administrative law, municipal law, real estate, and in administrative and litigation proceedings. He is an active member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, where he serves on the LawPAC Board of Trustees and on the Human Rights Committee. He is also an active member in the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, where he is currently serving as vice-chair of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee. He is co-founder and Executive Committee member of Lawyers for Marriage, an organization of Minnesota lawyers committed to campaign in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment that will be on the ballot in November. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004, where he was a board member and managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review.

Amendment Opponents

Phil Duran is the legal director for OutFront Minnesota, a community-based organization providing numerous programs to support the GLBT and allied communities. His work focuses on legal information, referral, and education; state legislative research and analysis; state administrative agency, judicial and local government public policy; and direct representation in selected public-assistance and human-rights cases. He is well known for his work regarding legal issues facing transgender people. He represents OutFront Minnesota on Governor Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying and chairs the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity subcommittee of the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s Committee for Equality and Justice. He is currently President-Elect of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and is a past member of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and a founding board member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Mr. Duran is a graduate of Michigan State University and received his Juris Doctorate in 2000 from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Anthony S. Winer is a professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law. He teaches courses in international law, constitutional law, and related subjects. Among these has been a seminar in law and sexuality–he was the first full-time law professor in Minnesota to teach a regularly-scheduled course on law and sexuality. He has published a broad variety of articles on constitutional law and international law, as well as an innovative course book on Public International Law Research with Mary Ann Archer. He has done extensive teaching and advisory work in the South Caucasus region, primarily in Azerbaijan, where he was a Fulbright Scholar for 2008-2009. He is on the visiting international faculty at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku. He has lectured in various other countries throughout the world, including France, Greece, Turkey and the U.K. Prior to teaching, he served as an attorney for the Federal Reserve Board, and in private practice in New York, Paris, London and Athens. Professor Winer is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and received his Juris Doctorate at University of Chicago Law School. Additionally he earned an LL.M. at New York University School of Law.